Got a couple of days off and some extra time and this has been an issue that has driven me up a wall since I started long ago as a teenager.
My biggest pet peeve is cleanliness and sanitation.I am psychotic about it.I am known as "The Sanitation ****" in my kitchen.I have irritated the heck out of co-workers through the years because of this obsession,too.
Our profession is of the nurturing variety;food is love and affection in my eyes [I'm Italian].We have a moral and ethical duty to provide wholesome,safe food to our customers.There is no room for negotiation when it comes to safety.
I just can't comprehend why it is so difficult to keep up with this.I've worked with people who know better,but do incredibly stupid and risky things.God forbid that extra few seconds you take will prevent someone from getting sick or shutting the place down.
Example #1 -an Exec I worked under was ACF Certified AND a Certified Culinary Educator,but I watched this man cut 20 lbs. of potatoes directly on the stainless prep table WITHOUT A CUTTING BOARD.Oh...my...GOD!!!
I guess he wasn't paying attention when it came to "physical contamination".
I said something and he just shrugged his shoulders at me.I left shortly after that.
He was proof that just because you have the letters after your name,you may not be worthy of the title.He just paid his fees,took his tests and got the papers.
Example #2- I was a partner/sous for a private catering company and the owner had worked under some tough chefs and gotten good training,but when she got her own place,she just slacked off.
She also did the "no cutting board" thing,would work till 2am and then just leave the kitchen in a shambles.I'd unlock the door the next morning and have to clean it all up just so I could start what I needed to do.Totally inexcusable!
She would smoke in the kitchen.
Her two children would be allowed to wander about while we were working [I don't care if you own the place;keep them OUT of the kitchen!!].I am also not child-oriented,so it drove me extra-crazy.:crazy:
I could go on,but you get the idea.We would be screaming at each other daily over these things and she would always say "I'm sorry,but what drives you crazy isn't important to me...I don't think about it."
WTF????!!! Profit sharing or not,I got out.I refuse to lower my standards for the sake of money.
Example #3- As with a lot of us,I felt I had to do some time at a Ritz-Carlton.My closest friend and mentor worked at a premier RC in Naples,FL. under CMC McFadden,so I foolishly assumed ALL RC's were run as tightly as he described....guess again!
Even McFadden told him when he left "Be careful,not everyone cares as much as we do here in Naples."
The restaurant/room service kitchen line was poorly set up [22 year old building],so the saute station at the end had no hand sink....and no one EVER set up a sanitizer bucket.Gloves? Don't make me laugh!
So all the fish is coming off of that station,from out of the drawer to plate-up...it made me ill.
The cook on that station was French and was here on a visa..he worked at a couple of Michelin-rated places in France and you knew that he knew better...but he could have cared less.The sous chefs didn't care,either.I'd set up a bucket and it would go untouched.
I saw green steaks in the cooler;no one cared.
Crap on the cooler floor;everyone just stepped over it.
Fish not being iced nightly;oops.
Hollandaise not being held in a steamtable at temp...ah,no big deal.
Well,after some time,I got dragged into the Exec's office [a new one under a two-year contract,also French and with a good reputation,but I think he was simply overwhelmed.It was his first Exec job] and he told me that I "annoyed him" because all I did was point out negative things and what was wrong.
Well,I was pointing it out because it seemed no one gave a crap about it! Call me crazy,but I think my complaints were valid because people are doing dangerous things and worstly,being ALLOWED to.
You just expect better from an RC after spending two days in orientation having smoke blown up your butt about Gold Standards,"Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen",striving for perfection....blah,blah,blah.I guess it depends on the property itself.
It was disheartening,to say the very least.
so,why do people just turn lazy and not do what is right? There's no excuse for it at all.